Army Life – Observations From Normandie After D-Day (2) – Dan Writes Home – August 3, 1944

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

The German soldiers, recently here, were youngsters from 16 to 20 years old. They were largely service troops, and very poorly fed – “even the dogs would not eat their food” said one reliable source. They often became so hungry that they would munch grass! Some returned from furloughs in Germany almost in tears, with reports that their families, their homes, their friends had all been killed or destroyed in the allied air offensive. Germans visiting French homes were quite agreeable when they came along to a house, but if two or more came together they were distrustful – afraid that what they might say would be held against them by the others.

I have taken every opportunity to talk to the people, hoping to become proficient in the language while I have the opportunity. I talk to the washerwomen who come to the stream running below our camp. I speak to the farmers working in the fields near us. I speak to the children who long ago, learned to ask for “shooly goon” (chewing gum) and “bon-bons” (candy) from every passing soldier. I visit the farms each evening and gossip with the families – reviewing the war news, asking for cider or cherries, answering questions about America (“are there many elephants there, and camels in the deserts?”) I help two charming French girls with their English lessons, patiently striving to make them pronounce the “th” without a “z” sound.

It’s a very healthful life, living out-of-doors, getting plenty of sleep, appreciating food that would have seemed unpalatable in London, enjoying every minute of this new and absorbing life. Because things here are more exotic than in England, I count this experience second only to my sojourn in Venezuela, and I thank the fates that pull the world’s strings for giving me this opportunity. Packages received here in France will be much more appreciated than they were in England because here we can buy nothing except cider, cherries and an occasional egg.  All the villages, hamlets and cities are “off limits” to all American servicemen and what rations of cigarettes, candy and toilet articles we receive, are doled out meagerly by the army, free of charge and at irregular intervals with the plea that we take only what we really need.

                  Particular requests

                   Cashmere Bouquet soap

                   Gillette’s Brushless Shaving Cream

                   Chocolate bars

                   Any 35-mm camera film (except type A Kodachrome)

                   Half and Half smoking tobacco

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Observations From Normandie After D-Day (1) – Dan Writes Home – August 3, 1944

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

Normandie, 3 Aout, 1944

Altho’ much of the novelty of our new surroundings has worn off, I am still impressed by the casual manner in which the people here live their lives while whole villages and towns are bludgeoned into stark masses of rubble and the roar of planes fills the sky and the endless stream of trucks, jeeps, tanks etc. rumble incessantly toward the front, camouflaged in their own tattle-tale dust clouds. Norman folk carry pitifully small bundles that represent their personal possessions are crowded into the steep-sided gutters that line the narrow roads. They are people who are returning to their homes – many of which are mere spectral walls, some of which are miraculously untouched.

In odd contrast to the villages and roads, the countryside has made no compromises with the old man Mars. It is as if he set his feet down only in certain villages which lay along his path, and no evidence of his passing exists beyond the tall, thick hedgerows lining the highways. It is haying time. Fields are dotted with piles of sweet hay, with men kneeling beside them, tying the hay into neat little bundles by a dexterous twist of a strand of grass. These bundles will be fed to the horses and cattle when winter comes, later in the year, to Normandy.

War is fickle. We seem to have been projected into a countryside that scarcely admits the war is going on. I cannot help remembering the day we left London to come here – the sirens were moaning plaintively and we saw several buses laden with evacuee children. Yet here, so much closer to the front, evacuees are returning to their homes! Only at night do we hear Jerry’s planes – usually just a few scattered bomb-reconnaissance planes. We can no longer hear the guns from the front.

I have spoken to many French people since coming here, and I am gratified to know that my French classes at Richmond were thoroughly worthwhile. I have difficulty in understanding French when it is spoken rapidly but that, of course, is to be expected. The following bits of information I was able to catch from those Frenchmen who were persuaded to speak slowly:

Rations under the Germans – 2 pkgs (40 cigarettes) per person per month; 2 small pieces of crude soap per month; no chocolate or other candy. Cider is made in December. If it is made right it will keep for three years (if the Germans and the Yanks don’t get it!) From the hard cider is made “Cognac”, more properly called “calnados” from the country that manufactures it. Even more properly it might be called rot-gut apple jack by those who have the temerity to try it. Eggs are not abundant because it has been impossible to find grain for the poultry.

Tomorrow, I will finish this letter home to family and friends in Trumbull with more observations from Dan.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad, Aunt Betty And Jean – A Change In Plans – July 31, 1944

Lad and Marian - Pomona, CA

Marian (Irwin) Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Pomona, California

Monday

7/31/44 (Grandpa’s notation)

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean,

Here we go again!  Life in the Army is very much like sitting on a time bomb. We never know whether we will go off in the next minute, or whether our precarious seat will prove to be a dud.

The fellows have been told that they should have some technical training, so beginning tomorrow,  Lad is going to be teaching a course on the finer points of the Electrical System of Diesel Engines. This should last about two weeks. Actually, it means absolutely nothing, beyond the fact that it will keep the fellows busy! So, the way things stand now, we should be here for another two weeks, but just as soon as I put that in writing, the Army will change our minds for us! Consequently, you now know just about as much of our future plans as we do, and as to their definite-ness – your guess is as good as ours!

Life goes on pretty much the same these days, in all other respects. Lad is back at the Pomona Base now, and doesn’t have to report for work until 5:45 AM. He’s keeping busy, but is not working as hard or as long as he had to when he was at Camp Haan.

We thought we were going to be able to send you another addition for the ”Rogue’s Gallery”, but we were not satisfied with the finished product, so the photographers are going to see what they can do about it. But it will take another two weeks to get the pictures back. But you’ve waited this long for a picture of us together, so it shouldn’t be too hard to wait that much longer.

On the next cool Sunday, when you have nothing else to do, will you look in the top shelf of Lad’s trunk that is in the attic and see if his flashlight is there? It has a black, hard rubber case, with the red tab on it which says, “Approved by Underwriters Laboratory” on it. It is a gas proof and waterproof one, and Lad would like to have it with him if it is there. If you can’t find it in the trunk, contact Babe Mullins Lad’s girlfriend before he went into the Army), and see if she knows where it is.

Aunt Betty, I’m sure Ced has been using his most persuasive powers to get you to Alaska. But don’t forget that there might be some question about your being able to smoke those cigars of yours up there. Families, you know, understand these things and make the necessary allowances, but strangers are apt to raise their eyebrows at such goings on. And I’m sure the natives wouldn’t understand at all. They might think you were on fire, and  bury you under an avalanche of snow. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. Besides, who’s going to help me shovel a path to the garage if I come to Connecticut this winter?

With all our love,

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, a very interesting letter from Dan, In Normandie, France, after the D-Day Invasion. He writes quite a b it about the countryside and the people he has met.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad Writes From The South Pasadena Hospitality Center – More Restrictions – April, 1943

apg-note-from-so-pasadena-hospitality-center-about-more-restrictions-april-1943

HOSPITALITY CENTER OF SOUTH PASADENA

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

435 FAIR OAKS AVENUE

SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Dear Dad: –

Here I am again. – And also, much time has elapsed between my last epistle and this, but I will try to cover everything that has elapsed, which is getting easier. Camp regulations are becoming worser by the day.

First, however, an answer to your note. This friend of mine, here, purchased a certified check for $595.00 from a bank, and instead of mailing it to me, here, it was sent to Bridgeport by Airmail, special delivery (according to available information). Immediately upon receipt of this info, I sent you the remainder, and you should know the rest, better than I.

We are being further and further restricted. In fact, it is very hard to get off every other weekend now. [And rumor has it that very shortly we will be no longer associated with O.T.C. but with S.C.U. (Service Command Unit) which will, in all probability, mean six hour passes once every 3 or 4 days, and one weekend out of every 7 or 8 – Oh, me]

I have heard from Hartford direct, so forget about the licenses. Thanks.

Lad and Marian in Pamona

Lad and Marian in South Pasadena, 1943 

We went to the beach last Sunday, but the wind blew too much sand around to make it pleasant. However the weather is perfect. I may get a furlough sometime in July or August, but nothing definite as yet. My love to all.

Laddie

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dad – Lad Mentions A Female Friend – April 8, 1943

This letter is written from the Hospitality Center of South Pasadena. Marian Irwin was the Executive Director of the South Pasadena Camp Fire Girls and did her duty to entertain the troops at the Hospitality Center. She actually met three of Lad’s friends who arrived at Camp Santa Anita while Lad was taking a two week Diesel Engine course from the Wolverine Motor Works near Chicago. She told me that they kept telling her, “Wait until you meet Al”. Little did they know how well that would turn out.

The date appears to be April 8, 1942, but in actuality, Lad wasn’t drafted until June, 1942. This letter was written in 1943. By April of 1944, they were married and Marian was moving from base to base with him.

apg-first-mention-of-marian-hospitality-center-april-8-1943

Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942April 8, 1943

Dad: –

Again too many days have gone by, but they have all been full. Even Apr. 3rd. I got a letter from you on the eventful day – thanks. It went by as usual, but the bunch of us were invited to a party in my honor at the home of one of the girls I have met here. In fact, she is so much like Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend in Trumbull) that I have difficulty now and then in calling her Marian. She is not quite as pretty as Babe but resembles her in almost every other way. Even to occupations. Well, anyhow, the party went off fine and about 2 A.M. on Sunday we decided to go to a swing-shift dance at the Casa Manana and had a good time. Got in Camp at 6 Sun. Morn. (This is the first mention of Marian, my Mom, in Lad’s letters home.)

Due to a change in the system of paying, last Wednesday, we could not get out of camp in time to see “The Drunkard”, so it is still something to look forward to.

I heard from Mrs. Lea, and everything is O.K. – sorry I didn’t or couldn’t do anything earlier, but I should have written. But that’s me.

You asked in one of your letters that I tell you something about what I’m doing. Well, Art Lind and I are working together in the same class and we have decided that the system used by the Army for teaching Diesel Engines can be greatly improved. Well, without authority, because of stubbornness on the part of one officer to listen to our story, we went ahead and ran the class for one week. It was a decided success and proved our point to a “T”, but still, since it has been general knowledge that Art and I were responsible, this same officer is not able to get credit now as having originated the idea, and has still not issued the necessary orders. It is people like he who are responsible for a great deal of the discontent prevalent in the Army. Other than that, the course is continuing as it should, and running very smoothly.

It seems that our new Battalion C.O. is from a Basic Co. and thinks that we are trainees. If this sort of treatment keeps on, there is going to be trouble in Hdq. Bn. And I won’t be lax in cooperating.

In a letter, you mentioned that Dan may be scheduled for overseas, it is beginning to look like all of we A-1’s will be replaced by “limited service” men, and then – – –? Who knows?

I’m fine, Dad, and I hope you and the rest are the same. Remember me to all.

Lad

Tomorrow, and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday, another letter from Lad and on Friday, another from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons Of The North, East, South And West (2) – Quotes From Dick – July 23, 1944

This is the rest of the letter posted yesterday. Grandpa ends with personal notes.

Recently when I have been quoting letters received from you boys, I have felt a sense of something lacking in not being able to include anything from Dick. Of course there is a reason why he doesn’t often write to the old man, and so, with Jean’s (Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Richard, who is living with Grandpa until her husband gets home) cooperation, I am giving below a few extracts from his recent letters which she is kindly dictating as I write:

?????????????????????

Dick, Richard Peabody Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean ((Mortensen) Guion), Mrs. Richard 

From his letter of July 11. “The warm season here lasts longer than summer in the states, but I don’t think it gets as hot. It very seldom goes higher than 90°. The weather we are having now is really very nice. There is a constant cool breeze blowing that makes living a little more bearable. The cool season lasts only about four months though. (This is in Fortaleza on the northern coast of Brazil). The job I have now is the best one I have had since I left Alaska. I work in the Civilian Personnel Office. We have to keep all the records, passes and payrolls for all the Brazilians who work at the base. The Civilian Personnel Officer is first Lieut. Lineham and the best officer I have yet found to work for. Whenever he has anything he wants me to do he just gives me the material and a few simple directions and from there on, I fill in all the details and do the work the way I think it should be done. The system is very satisfactory for both of us because he gives it to me and just forgets about it until the work is due. So far, our relations have been quite blessed. I have done everything in a satisfactory manner and he seems to have faith in my ability. We have one other person in the department – – a Brazilian who makes up the payroll and handles most of the heavy work. I’ll probably stay down here until shortly after the European war is over and after all the planes go back to the states, this place will be closed and I will come home, I hope.”

And now a few words of not much account except to the one addressed.

Dave: The clippings I have sent for the last few weeks are weekly reviews of what events have transpired during the past week as reported in the Warden’s (the family renting the apartment) copy of the New York Tribune. I sent them because once you asked me what was going on in the war, that you seldom received any news there, so I figured this would be better than my personal summary. You have not yet answered my inquiry as to whether the notebook fillers for your friend were received. The leggings and tie went off to you last week by parcels post.

Dick: Next time you write to your “pride and joy” after receipt of this, would you please help me out of my dilemma by writing a list of a few of the things it would be possible for me to send to you by mail as a token of my rejoicing at your birthday, as I have already wasted many hours and will otherwise waste many more searching hungrily through this store and that trying to discover some gift that might be welcome to you.

Dan: If you have time and opportunity someday why not drop a penny postcard to Ernest Woolard, Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and tell him where you are in the chance that he might be able to look you up.

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad From Marian – Things Still Pretty Much “On Ice” – July 17, 1940

This week I will be posting letters written in July of 1944. Lad and Marian are awaiting Lad’s move to an Embarkation Camp and Marian’s drive to Trumbull. Dan is in London following the hustle before D-Day and Ced is still in Anchorage, working at the airfield and gaining flying time towards his Pilot’s license. Dick is in Fortaliza, Brazil, coordinating things between the Army and the local workers and Dave continues at Camp Crowder, receiving more specialized training.

Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Marian (Irwin) Guion

Army Life - Dear Dad - Things On Ice - July 17, 1944

Monday

Pomona   July 17  ‘44

Dear Dad –

Things are still pretty much “on ice” as far as we are concerned.  If the Army knows when we are going to move they are keeping it a deep dark secret.  But knowing the Army, we are mighty suspicious.

We have been trying to tie up all the loose ends so that we can move on a moment’s notice, and Lad has spent every spare minute that he’s had, which aren’t many, working on the Buick so that she will be ready, too, for a cross-country jaunt, if the occasion demands it.

Because Lad is rationing off the post, we have a “C” sticker so we were able to get 3 brand-new Grade 1 tires, so I shouldn’t have any serious tire trouble either.

The boys are coming in from Camp Haan today – Lad had to get up at 3:30 this morning so that he would be in camp in time for reveille, so, needless to say, we are glad they are coming back to Pomona.

We are enclosing the first installment on our loan, by way of a Postal Money order for $50.00.  We’re sorry it is so late in arriving but the Army held us up this month.

This doesn’t seem to be a very lengthy letter but that’s all the news we have this week.

All our love,

Lad and Marian

*******************************

A week later, Marian writes to Grandpa with no news again.

Marian (Irwin) Guion

Monday

7/24/44

Dear Dad,

Another week has gone by and we still don’t know anything definite. The Army gets us all keyed up, thinking we are going to move within the hour, practically, and then just let’s us wait, literally holding our breaths. But you can be sure that when we do move, it will be in a hurry.

Did I tell you that mother was scheduled for an operation for a cataract on her eye? She was operated on last Tuesday and the doctors are very encouraging and optimistic about her receiving her eyesight back. Both eyes have been affected, so that for the last six months she has had practically no vision from either eye but the doctors feel sure that she will have a good percentage of her vision restored, and although we haven’t received the final report, we are very hopeful. She had only one eye operated on this time. I believe she has to wait about three months before she has the second operation. In the meantime Dad has been the chief cook and bottle washer around the house. His two week’s vacation was scheduled for last week and this, so that he could be home while mother was at the hospital. Some vacation, I’d say, but he seems to be getting along very nicely. We got a very nice letter from Dave last week. He seems to feel as badly as we do about not being able to see him. Seems as though we just miss him each time. Maybe the next time we will be more successful. I certainly hope so. If Jean is around would you ask her if she knows the recipe for the mocha frosting that Biss makes? Lad maintains that it is delicious, so it sounds like exactly what I need to cover my meager attempts at cake baking. Perhaps you know the recipe. And incidentally, Jean might also include the recipe for that delicious tomato soup cake of hers.

Love to all,

Marian

Alfred Peabody Guion

Dear Folks: –

I’m not feeling too well, having eaten something yesterday that did not agree with me too well. Hope that by tomorrow it will be a better behaved stomach.

I believe I told you when I was home, that if you could do anything for me I’d let you know. Here is something you can do. I would like you to try to get me a Boy Scout knife or one very similar (not too bulky), two tubes of Molle shaving cream, a couple of “T” shirts, white, size 38, a pair of tennis shoes, size 8 1/2 C (white if possible) and if shoe stamps are necessary, don’t bother, and some stamp pad ink, permanent. (Like the laundry uses). I understand that if we go overseas, we should have saltwater soap with us, so maybe, if you can find 6 bars, you might send them along also.

Since our permanency here is limited, please send it to me at camp – 3019 Co., 142 O.B.A.M. Bn., Camp Pomona, Pomona, Calif. In that case, if we move, it will be sure to follow me for ever or until it reaches me.  That is one nice thing about Army mail.  It will eventually reach its destination.  On second thought, that also has its bad points.  One can’t ship unpaid bills.

Well, as Marian said, Our love to all.

Judy Guion

Tomorrow and Wednesday I will be posting a letter from Grandpa to “Sons of the North, East, South and West”. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, except Ced. .

Judy Guion

Army Life – News From Lad At Camp Santa Anita – Dick Is Now Married – March 21, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion

Camp Santa Anita

March 21, 1943

Dear Dad: –

Well, seems that again, a couple of weeks have gone by before I’ve gotten around to writing. I’m just not conscientious enough, I guess, and the conditions here are far from conducive to writing. It is pretty hard to write in the camp itself because of lack of facilities, and once away from camp, who wants to sit down in someone’s home or where you are expected to be enjoying yourself and write? I know I don’t, and as you have seen, I haven’t.

But, nevertheless, I’m perfectly well and really enjoying myself as well as could be expected, under the circumstances

I should have done something about this before, but I had practically forgotten it. Tell Mrs. Lee to carry on with the insurance. By the time you receive this, she should have received $10 by telegram, which should take care of it for a short period, anyway, and I’ll write to her for an account. Thank you for your gentle reminder.

And Dick is now married. Well, well, well. By the time I got your letter saying that he was to be called into service, but would be married first, he had already gone. The time required for mail from back east is getting longer and longer. In fact, some of your letters have taken almost 2 weeks to reach me. It is normally, 6 to 9 days. Once in a while 5 or 6.

Well, now to get back to the previous paragraph. So Dick is now married. Well, well, well. That move sort of leaves me writeless. But I’ll try to continue, nevertheless. In the first place, I have absolutely no available cash that I can use for a wedding present, so I think I’ll write Jean and ask her to “take a rain check” on it. As is very often the case – I knew pretty much about the affair, long before it happened. In fact, sometime around October, Dick asked me about it, and I told him what I thought about getting married before or during this war, and I can see he took my advice – and threw it out the window, or some such place, but anyhow, I believe he really has a wonderful wife. I like her very much. I just hope that knowing that she is there waiting for him will sort of change some of his lackadaisical ways. (Maybe I had better get married.) I can think of lots more to say, but they are better said to Jean or Dick directly, so that’s that.

As customary, I’ve been having a Hell of a good time. About two weeks ago I went on what is commonly called “the wagon”. Vince, Vic (Vic Bredehoeft, the only last name I have), Art and I (Junior doesn’t drink) were all doing some pretty heavy drinking. Quite often we would drink one and a half or 2 quarts of whiskey in an evening and I believe that for about a month never one night went by that we didn’t “kill” a quart. So, as I said, I’m on the wagon, and it seems to have had a slight effect on the others. At any rate, we, or rather, they, have had very little to drink. I wanted to find out for myself if I needed to drink or if it was just because of the association, and I find that it was the latter. The boys made me promise that on Wednesday, March 31, I would take a drink. We are all going to see “The Drunkard”, and part of the show consists of drinking beer and eating, so I’ve consented. That will be the first drop of anything alcoholic in my system since March 7th. Last Saturday the three of us – Vic, Art and Al – went to L. A. To see “Hi Rookie”. It is a “scream”, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole production. It is put on by the boys from Fort MacArthur, just south of L. A. proper and they seem to enjoy doing it as well as the audience enjoys seeing it. It has been running since the latter part of 1942 and the house is still crowded at each performance. It really is good. “The Drunkard” must be good, too, since this is its 10th year.

Now, a little business. Selling the car here will be an easy matter, but I would not be able to get another since prices are just about double those in the East. But I have finally located a person who has more money than he knows what to do with, and it looks as though you will have enough to straighten out with the bank in a short while. One of the factors which make it more difficult to sell it, is that there are five of us together. So it will be a decided inconvenience to not only me, but the rest, were I to sell it. (As you can see, I wrote so fast and furious that my pen couldn’t keep up with me, and I’ve got to put it away until I can get something more to eat.) So, if the bank says anything, ask for 30 days more, and you shall have it.

Well, there goes the bell for starting work, so give my love or regards to all, and keep well.

Lad

I’ll continue the week with another letter from Grandpa, then a letter from Jean to Ced and finish the week with another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (1) – Extract Of Guion (Dan And Ced) – July 16, 1944

This letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock contains excerpts from letters he has received in the last week. It is quite a collection and it will take two days to finish the letter. Enjoy.

Trumbull, Conn., July 16, 1944

Dear Convalescents:

As your medical advisor I am recommending this week a full dose of extract of Guion, consisting of vitamins DBG (Daniel Beck Guion), CDG (Cedric Duryee Guion), MIG (Marian (Irwin) Guion) a substitute for APG (Alfred Peabody Guion, Lad), (at the moment unobtainable) and DPG David Peabody Guion), to be taken with a little water, before, after or between meals.

Daniel Beck Guion with a buddy in Europe - circa 1945

Daniel Beck Guion, on the left with a friend , overseas

Extract of DBG. (Daniel Beck Guion) (July 3, London) Gone completely is the idyllic lull about which I wrote so enthusiastically a few weeks past, and in its place has come a period which keeps us too much on our mettle to indulge in languid philosophy. Now we are engulfed in a realism which focuses war in sharp, unmistakable images, exciting… significant… decisive. The none too subtle curtain of the sensor must set as a haze filter to your perception, but one day soon I shall entertain you all with tall tales of “what Dan did in the war” – – and I promise it won’t be too boring. Thoroughly hail and equally hearty, Dan

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Extract of CDG: (Cedric Duryee Guion) Anchorage almanac. Weather today clear, sun rises before I get up, sun sets about bedtime. Hours of darkness, practically none. Temperature, good for swimming. Hospitalization notice: One 37 Buick seriously ill of spinal meningitis and requiring extensive surgery for return to active health. Medicines unobtainable in Alaska due to shortage of equipment as of war necessities. An emergency requisition has been placed requesting necessary herbs and tonics. The transmission, after a long and quarrelsome disturbance, accompanied by groans of pain for the last three months, finally had a hemorrhage and was partially paralyzed. Low, second and reverse suffered complete collapse of the motovaty nerves and left poor high badly overburdened, thus affecting composure of chauffeur. While injury seemed trivial at first, treatment proved unobtainable and a major catastrophe developed. Patient was unavoidably retired from active service and in lieu of treatment, it was determined that further long-standing elements must be treated and so the heart was removed for observation and repairs. Tragically enough, this disclosed more faults that required unobtainable replacements. Now patient is interned in isolation ward until pistons, transmission parts and other odds and ends can be obtained.

Another birthday come and  gone with a very pleased recipient of gifts from home. McDonald’s had a little supper party with cake and candles. My burns (ha ha) have nearly disappeared (all signs of them, I mean). They turned out not half as bad as the other ones did, and I lost only three days work. I finished my course, took the CAA test and made an average of 86 which was up near the top of those grades received by the other students. Now I just need flying time and lots more of it. Can’t you picture me up high in the sky peeking around behind a cirrus cloud to see if the dew point is anywhere near the base of the cloud, or flying blind into the side of the next mountain only to discover I’d forgotten to correct for easterly deviation, and neglecting at the same time to consider the wind drift. Ah, me, I wonder if I’ll ever get to use any of your laboriously gleaned aeronautical knowledge. Incidentally, if you want to get a good education in meteorology, as it is affected by weather, and get it in an easy to take form, get the book “STORM” from Mrs. Ives, or from the library. It has humor, pathos, drama, suspense and human interest all woven around the birth, growth and passing of a storm and its effects on men and their puny works.

I received a letter from the Reader’s Digest telling me that my subscription had expired and going on to say that they had a little stencil with my name on it which had been directing my copies to me and that before they threw it out they just wanted to remind me that the subscription had expired and let me know that it (the stencil) was in fine company – – MacArthur, Sinclair Lewis, Gen. Marshall and a host of others. There was a lot of other dribble which I don’t recall, but it kind of burned me, so I sat down and wrote them a letter explaining that it seemed a little odd that two weeks after sending a gift card from my Dad, and promising me so much, they now tell me the subscription has expired and didn’t I think it good to renew it? I also suggested that my father probably really intended that I get 12 copies of the magazine, not just a gift card. Then I flattered them by saying that I wasn’t surprised that MacArthur, etc., subscribed to the Digest, but that I didn’t give a damn who read it and took it just because I happen to like its contents – – no doubt the same reason the celebrities would profess, and that I was surprised that Roosevelt wasn’t listed, “didn’t he take the Digest, or was it an intentional slight.” I rambled on at length concerning the rest of the letter, but I did have fun writing it. In closing I said to remember me to Sidney Bagshaw if he was around, and signed the thing. I am curious to see what kind of an answer I’ll get, if any. The first copy (June) arrived today. I hope they don’t strike me from the records. In today’s mail there was also a copy of “Federal World Union” and the “Union Now” paper. The more I see the more I am encouraged. You ought to get on the bandwagon yourself. There are more and more people with political power joining the movement every month and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is heard from in some measure in the fall elections. I wish to heck Stassen had been nominated by the Republicans instead of Dewey, and could get the Presidency. He is back of the idea to a large extent and I feel would try to work it out. I don’t know about Dewey although he may be leaning that way too, for all I know. I think he could certainly improve on what we’ve got, anyway. I was reclassified 1-A three days ago and I think I can beat the rap again.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter with excerpts from Marian and Dave along with Grandpa’s usual home town doings.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Thanks A Million – Tentative Plans For Marian – July 10, 1944

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Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Army Life - Dear Dad - Tentative Plans For Marian - July 10, 1944

Monday –

Pomona, Calif

7/10/1944

Dear Dad –

Thanks a million for your very nice letter that we received from you last week. Wish I could report some definite plans that the “Roving Guions” have made, but so far everything is still very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – we just don’t know. However, we have tried to make a few tentative plans – subject to an immediate change, if necessary.

  1. If it is at all possible, I am going to drive the Buick, by way of Orinda, back east to our new destination. (Where??? When ???) We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip, but so far have not applied for it.
  2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull – I really love it there and can think of no nicer place that I would like to be. Theoretically, you are not supposed to apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months, so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case, I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen, but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows yet!
  3. One of the other wives is planning on going east with me, and before we get started, there may be more. But at least, I know I’ll have company and although both of us would rather have our husbands along, Ruth and I have a lot of fun together so it should be a pleasant trip.

That’s the best we can do in the way of plans so far, and any changes or later developments we will report immediately.

The camera arrived safely, Dad. Thanks for sending it to us.

You are a peach for offering to increase our “budget” with another loan. Even though we don’t believe that we will need it, it is nice to know that we can call on you in case of dire necessity.

With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_Two_Worlds_(1944_film)), so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much.

Lad is still at Camp Haan, and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun. We hope that he will be transferred back to Pomona in a few days so he can get a little more sleep in the mornings.

Thought perhaps we would have a check for you in this letter, but Uncle Sam has not come through as yet, so we are using the allotment check to live on for the time being. Maybe next time, Dad.

With all our love to everyone –

As always,

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his boys. 

Judy Guion